In Defense of Asian Beauty Blogging: Because I Shouldn’t Even Have to Write This Post

It’s been a rollercoaster recently in one of my favorite Asian Beauty (AB) communities. The latest topsy-turvy topic? The blind anti-blogger-poster sentiment. Here’s the gist of this issue.

  • Some folks are highly suspicious of bloggers, especially the ones whose names are relatively out of the limelight.
  • Plus, there seems to be an influx of new Asian Beauty bloggers. Does this mean there’s money to be made here? Hmm?
  • AB bloggers who post there are just whoring their blog in the community without being a proper contributor to it. Because let’s face it: Linking your blog there does drive a lot of traffic to it.
  • Supposedly, all of these AB bloggers are trying to make money from our clickies and readsies!
  • As a result, nearly any blogger who posts their content—whether it’s a review, haul post, or simply a food-for-thought piece—gets downvoted to oblivion without even being read, regardless of the quality of their content or the earnesty their intentions.
  • …and other suspicions that are simply too complex to condense into single bullet points.

It seems to be a loud minority that reflects these, but it makes a whole community just that much more sour and unpleasant to spend time in, because it’s when reason goes to die.

As someone who is far, far from an OMG BIG TIME ASIAN BOOTY BLOGGER, I find this extremely disheartening because absolutely none of the above applies to me or any of the wonderful bloggers I’ve interacted with (some are linked throughout this post; they’ve expressed their own thoughts on this topic as well). Several of them are regular contributors to the community, and are real human beans beings who give advice frankly and from the heart. Without them, I would still be scrubbing my face with a bar of lye. Well, not really, but you know what I mean.

Obviously, you don’t have to love the bloggers that go on Asian skincare forums. But guess what? You don’t have to be a d***wad about it. You can state your opinion, have a rational discussion with someone who doesn’t agree with you, and go merrily about your way without blasting each other’s closed comedones off.

First of all: I’ve said this a million times, but seriously…

Very few of these bloggers, if any at all, are actually trying to be the next Michelle Phan. 

And if they’re seriously trying, then good luck. The numbers in this relatively tiny market just aren’t there yet. Wee little bloggers are not trying to sell our souls in exchange for bad product placements on our niche-readership blogs. Because guess what? If you’re an actual lover of AB products, you’ll likely spend hundreds on your own routine before you ever make a career of writing about it. This may be partly anecdotal, but statistically speaking (if there was a way for me to actually gather more than a straw poll and basic research), even the most popular AB bloggers do this as a hobby and have other full-time careers going on. I’m not “popular” by and large, but I work full-time in editing and this blog isn’t taking over anytime soon. My eyeballs are tired of words by the time I get home—and yet here I am still doing it, for the love of AB.

Regarding making money out of being popular, Adoredee has some facts and figures down. We just ain’t got nothin’ on the “western” brands, retailers, and promoters.

2poor4u
2poor4u

If someone out there is actually making a decent profit from AB blogging at this point, then even more power to you! It’s tough work in a tougher world. You are my unicorn. The bottom line is, money and fame are rarely ever the main motivational factors in AB blogging. And they shouldn’t be, because like Dee says, there is no money here. Unless you’re talking about what we throw at our screens whenever CosRx comes out with something new.*

*OH SNAP! An affiliate link?!

Well, guess what? I’ve never seen a blogging community more transparent about affiliate links and sponsors than the AB blogging community. Anyway, here’s a non-affiliate link to the new, Wishtrend-exclusive CosRx Ultra Moisturizing Lotion with Birch Sap. Aww yiss. The CosRx circlejerk is complete.

In any case, trust me. I’m a real cheapskate. And ain’t no AB blogger got time for full-timing dat.

Bloggers help you understand what the hell you’re doing. 

I’m no pioneer, because reading AB blogs is exactly how I started my own AB journey. Snow White and the Asian Pear is one of the first English-writing AB bloggers that came out of the first throes of the hallyu wave. She’s kind enough to test, do research, and even decipher what the hell each product is supposed to do, and then write it all out for us in a way that’s always easy to understand, relatable, and sometimes even a bit hilarious. She is absolutely a person for the people, and I have to thank her on behalf of the AB community for existing where no blog like that had really existed before (at least, none that I knew of!).

Today, the number of AB bloggers continues to rise, and we’re able to share our experiences with each other as well as with those new to the AB world. Snow White and the Asian Pear said it well: AB is a community where it’s even more important to lift each other up and support each other, rather than viewing each other as rivals. AB bloggers competing with each other is a joke. Like I said earlier, there simply aren’t enough people to compete in the way that “western” bloggers, vloggers, and icons are competing. After all, collaborating with her fellow bloggers led her to create the first-ever AB podcast, The Snailcast. And it ain’t about the money, money, money… Ugh, not that song…

We simply love writing and sharing. 

I’m also a former/hobby photographer. I smooshed these two loves together with a third thing that I’m interested in, and so my blog was born. Like I’ve said in my About page, I started blogging because it helps me lay out my journey to become more comfortable in my own skin. Writing about my skincare, beauty, and lifestyle misadventures is fun for me. It helps me to better understand the science of skincare, the ways AB is becoming less othered and less stigmatized in the “western” perspective, and the reasons we need more voices for AB. And trust me, as an Asian-American female, I can tell you that we need strong, reasonable voices in all of the right places. But let’s save my 50-page undergrad papers for another time.

Early on, I never really expected my blog to have much of a following. However, it turns out AB has such a supportive community that I couldn’t help but be drawn to my people. I love reading everyone’s posts and discovering new things. It’s the best way to improve my own journey of writing, sharing, and skincaring.

And speaking of the community,

We do it for the love of the craft. Err, skincare and beauty.

Nothing more and nothing less. Also, we just want to love you.

My #rAsianBeauty #SecretSanta delivered. #literally #snailsquad #abbloggers

A post shared by A River Lily (@leialily) on

 

In other news… Happy Lunar New Year! 恭喜发财! 新年快乐! It’s the year of the Fire Monkey!

Asian Beauty reddit asianbeauty skincare kbeauty korean beauty blogger food for thought blogging blog controversy discussion chinese good luck year of the monkey 新年快乐
So let’s quit monkeyin’ around!
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7 thoughts on “In Defense of Asian Beauty Blogging: Because I Shouldn’t Even Have to Write This Post

  1. Good post. Agree with everything. I really dont get the hate for AB bloggers. I find them the most transparent in reviewing products and there’s not many of us in the grand scheme of things so why wouldnt you appreciate and welcome new insights and reviews on products if it helps you find something that could potentially work for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand that some prefer link posts to go to imgur or something over a personal blog, but the misconceptions behind many people’s dislike of blog posts is just ridiculous. There’s no need to downvote! It’s not a dislike button! -.-

      Like

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